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Obama Falls Out With Bloggers (In Pyjamas) - Mark Hanson [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Mark Hanson

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Obama Falls Out With Bloggers (In Pyjamas) [Oct. 12th, 2009|08:25 pm]
Mark Hanson
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Interesting that the first web 2.0 President seems to be having tiffs with the social media community.

CNBC's Washington correspondent John Harwood reports an anonymous White House source (cough!) re how the Obama White House has handled gay issues as a problem with the "Internet left fringe." Harwood said on air that "one advisor told me today 'those bloggers need to take off the pajamas, get dressed, and realize that governing a closely divided country is complicated and difficult.'"  This carries echoes of the Democrat establishment dismissing bloggers that fuelled the Dean campaign as like the aliens in the bar scene in Star Wars!

It could be that the equivalent of Josh and CJ reckon it would be good positioning for Obama to pick a fight with the social media-types at a time when he's losing favour with Middle America. But this isn't an isolated incident and the influential US version of TechCrunch carries an open message from the tech community on how Barack can make good on expectations that people had over using the web to deliver true open government.

From a distance it seems like folks are being a bit impatient about all sorts of things from healthcare to interactive government to world peace. But there is something interesting in how the Obama team is framing it's outreach strategy. Less about gossip-driven bloggers and more about how to reach specific online communities using the forum owner or manager as a gateway.

Apparently they are targeting communities in leading consumer and personal finance sites - Consumerist and Motley Fool. This has echoes of the Labour online strategy in the UK, where the Party has used 'engagement' with voters on specific interests as a key element and Yvette Cooper, whilst in the Treasury, had some successful results in the Moneysupermarket forum.

Problem is it doesn't generate the same media attention as the gossip blogs i.e. the ones that journalists use.